Sunday, August 14, 2011

Dear Boston School Committee: it's not the public

This article on the Boston School Committee's push to make their meetings "more civil" was sent to me while I was away. The quote from Barbara Fields is exactly right:
“With this appointed board, we seem to be moving further and further away from the Democratic process, especially by stifling public input,’’ said Barbara Fields, a member of the Black Educators Alliance of Massachusetts, who has been an observer of the city’s School Committee meetings for three decades.
“I don’t favor people booing, but I think the committee needs to look at the root cause - why people are behaving that way. It’s systemic of the frustration people are feeling with the School Committee,’’ Fields said.
Boston has a school committee appointed by the mayor. The public thus has no recourse when it comes to the committee; they cannot vote out members, and the members have no reason to listen to the public at all.
And it shows.
If the committee wants more civility from the public, they might attempt, even in their appointed states, to act as though they were holders of the public trust.

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